Gareth Edwards Calls Rogue One: A Star Wars Story A Love Letter To Carrie Fisher

Gareth Edwards’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was many things. An exciting spinoff, a fresh take on the franchise, a bold departure and a resounding success. But more than that, it was also a love letter to Carrie Fisher, who tragically passed away late last year. As those who’ve seen the film will know, the actress appears right near the end as Princess Leia. Or rather, she digitally appears. Still, it’s a powerful moment which resonates even more now that Fisher is no longer with us.

That’s something which Edwards feels as well, as in a recent interview with The Telegraph to promote the Blu-ray release of Rogue One, he said that the whole movie really builds to that one moment with Leia. And in a way, he’s absolutely right.

“I just feel the whole thing was, to be honest, one big love letter to Carrie. What we’re doing with the entire movie is all building to that one moment [of the Death Star plans being handed to Princess Leia] where we hand the baton to her, to go off and make that film that inspired us all as kids. So it couldn’t have ended better from that point of view. It’s just sad – I was always thinking that I would get to meet her and talk to her at some point about it, and I never really met her properly. I walked past her once on the set of Episode VII, I was meeting some of the crew, and she walked past me, and I had a little fanboy freakout.”

Though the director never got to show Fisher the footage himself, he does note that she got a chance to see it and was so impressed with what they’d done that she didn’t even realize it was CGI.

“When it came to our film, it went so late with that shot, trying to get it right, that Kathy took it down personally, on a laptop, and showed her. And initially Carrie apparently didn’t realize it was CGI, and wondered if it was footage which we had taken from somewhere else. Which was really reassuring for us. I thought, one day, either at the premiere, or one of these conventions, I’d get a chance to talk to her. And it’s really sad that it’s not going to get to happen.”

Of course, Rogue One isn’t Fisher’s last on screen appearance. She’ll show up later this year in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as the actress finished filming her scenes for the movie before she passed away. She was all set to be part of Episode IX as well, but Disney has already said they won’t be recreating her via CGI again, so Rian Johnson’s film will indeed be the last time we see her up on the big screen.

How the studio will handle Leia’s story after that is unknown, but with Star Wars Celebration just around the corner now, we imagine we’ll learning a lot more about both that and the future of the franchise in no time at all. Until then, be sure to pick up Rogue One: A Star Wars Story when it blasts onto Blu-ray on April 4th!